- Toys R Us' parent company, WHP Global, on Friday announced a partnership with Go Retail Group to open up to 24 flagship Toys R Us stores in the U.S. starting next year.
- Go Retail Group will enable Toys R Us to expand its store base by providing “valuable brick-and-mortar logistics and operational excellence” for the iconic toy brand, Go Retail Group CEO Gideon Schlessinger said in a statement.
- WHP Global also said that it plans to expand into the travel retail space by opening stores in airports and on cruise ships. WHP announced earlier this year that it plans to open its first airport store in Terminal A at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Travel retailer Duty Free Americas will operate that location, which is set to open in early November, just ahead of the holiday season.
Toys R Us appears to be winding up for a major national relaunch.
After decades in business, Toys R Us’ business buckled under a $5 billion debt load. The company initially filed for bankruptcy in 2017.
The toy retailer liquidated its stores in 2018. But by 2019 the brand emerged as a new company, dubbed Tru Kids Inc. Under Tru Kids Inc., the company planned to reopen stores, though with a much smaller footprint.
Just over a year later, those stores shuttered as well as a result of the pandemic, the company said.
Later in 2021, WHP Global bought a controlling stake in Toys R Us from Tru Kids. WHP Global then announced a plan to open a 20,000-square-foot, two-story Toys R Us store at American Dream mall in New Jersey. WHP Global in 2021 also partnered with Macy’s to open over 400 Toys R Us shop-in-shops in Macy’s locations nationwide.
Under the most recent partnership with Go Retail, the new Toys R Us stores “will open in prime locations that complement the existing retail footprint at Macy’s,” the announcement said.
“Since acquiring Toys R Us, we have increased our global retail footprint by more than 50% with openings in the United States, United Kingdom, India, Dubai and Mexico,” Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of WHP Global, said in a statement. “We now have over 1,400 stores and e-commerce sites across 31 countries, and as we head into 2024, we are excited to bring Toys R Us to consumers everywhere, whether you're visiting one of our stores at Macy’s, at our flagships, in an airport or onboard a cruise ship.”
The new flagship store locations will feature “limited complimentary products from Go, but expect the wide assortment of toys and games from top toy brands you find in current Toys R Us stores,” a WHP Global spokesperson told Retail Dive in an email. Go Retail Group says it is the largest independently owned toy and game retailer in the U.S.
WHP Global did not disclose how many airport or cruise locations it intends to open, telling Retail Dive only that further locations will be announced. The company also did not say what cruise lines may gain the stores.
But it did say that its cruise ship stores “will offer a wide range of toys and exclusive cruise-themed merchandise for children and families during their voyages, ensuring that the magic of Toys R Us is accessible to consumers wherever their adventures take them.”
WHP Global said the Toys R US brand generates $2 billion in global retail sales an nually. WHP Global also owns stakes in Babies R Us, and apparel brands Anne Klein, Bonobos and Express.Go Retail Group’s roster of brands includes Go Toys and Games and Calendars.com.